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Class 6A playoff breakdown: No. 11 Hubbard vs. No. 6 Lake Forest

11/01/2013, 8:12am CDT
By Mark Perlman | For Sun-Times Media | @markdavidperlma

Lake Forest's Hub Cirame (21) dodges a few Zion-Benton defenders during a game Oct. 4. | Mark Ukena/For Sun-Times Media

Hubbard is coming off its first loss (18-16 to Harlan Oct. 24) after six straight victories. Host Lake Forest has won three of four. Injuries — including Hubbard star running back Joshua Land (984 yards rushing), who suffered a broken right ankle against Harlan — have forced the Greyhounds to move four freshmen into their starting rotation.

When Lake Forest is on offense...

The Scouts (7-2) have a balance between run and pass that has kept defenses off guard, allowing them to average 32 points per game. Lake Forest has rushed for 1,933 yards, with senior Hub Cirame accounting for 1,075 yards and more than 20 touchdowns. Senior quarterback Regis Durbin has thrown for 1,154 yards and seven touchdowns. The Scouts are converting 38.5 percent of their third downs while committing only nine turnovers (no fumbles) this season. In losses to playoff teams Lake Zurich and Stevenson, Lake Forest scored a total of 16 points.

When Lake Forest is on defense…

Lake Forest has allowed a little more than 17 ppg. The Scouts have forced 21 turnovers (12 interceptions). Safety Andrew Nelson leads the secondary with three interceptions. Ben Audley, Trent Williams and Austin McIlvane each have three sacks (the Scouts have 19 as a team).

When Hubbard is on offense…

The Greyhounds (6-3) rebounded from a 2-6 record last season. Without Land, Hubbard will look to Brandon Pettis (253 yards) and Darion Henderson (176 yards). Quarterback Jacquelle Smith is a run/pass threat with 331 passing yards and 705 rushing yards. Hubbard — which has run the ball on roughly 80 percent of its plays this season — will show different looks on offense, including power, pro and spread alignments. Lake Forest will have to deal with the speed around the edges that the aptly named Greyhounds will demonstrate Saturday.

When Hubbard is on defense…

The Scouts will have to contend with Hubbard’s switching defense — the Greyhounds go between a 4-3 and 3-4 — which has movement everywhere prior to the ball being snapped. The movement can cause opponents to miss assignments. The Greyhounds have forced 18 turnovers, including 15 interceptions. Much of the credit should go to the pass rush, which has accounted for 13 sacks. Leading the way are defensive ends Kevin and Khalil Stringer. Hubbard has blocked three punts.

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